If you’re thinking of getting into bitcoin poker games and live betting, now is a great time.
In fact this cryptocurrency has taken off in recent years as a mainstream alternative to fiat currency in the poker an gambling world, with an increasing number of established bookmakers accepting it as well as an array of dedicated bitcoin poker sites cropping up. Even though bitcoins are dating back since 2009/2011, however highlighting its price reached 11k $, then 1BTC = 1$. Further more Its acceptance has been positive in other sectors for the last years as well.
I’ve prepared some current legal issues and how btc is regulated. But first, let’s make sure we all understand exactly what bitcoin is.
What Is Bitcoin?
For those who don’t know, Bitcoin is a decentralised virtual currency known as a cryptocurrency. When people hear “decentralised” and “currency” in the same sentence, they naturally get concerned. How can a currency be secure if there’s no-one guaranteeing it? The answer is blockchain technology. A blockchain is a continually updating list of records. These records are lumped together in a series of blocks that are connected via encryption. Blockchains can be used to record anything, but they’re most commonly used to record transactions, which is what the Bitcoin blockchain does. Although anyone can view the blockchain, no-one can alter it: only the blockchain itself can do that. This is what makes Bitcoin secure.
Benefits Of Using Bitcoin
There are a number of benefits of switching to bitcoin for online poker:
- Withdrawal speeds are significantly faster. Most poker rooms take between 3 days and 5 days to process withdrawals of fiat currency. Bitcoin, on the other hand, can be withdrawn from your poker account to your bitcoin wallet in under 24 hours (and sometimes instantly).
- You can play anonymously. This varies from site to site, but generally excludes poker rooms that also accept fiat currency.
- You can potentially pay less rake or get more rakeback by switching to a bitcoin poker room. This will depend on what site you currently use and what site you switch to, so you may want to do the research if rake is important to you.
If these perks are not enough to convince you to make the switch, then keep on reading . Here below we are going to be talking about some legal issues and how they may be regulated as had been mentioned before on the top.
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Is It Legal To Use Bitcoin For Gambling?
There is no restriction on using Bitcoin to fund betting sites, or indeed any other online merchant, so long as they accept the payment method. All that matters is whether gambling is legal in the territory you are attempting to gamble from and whether the operator holds the relevant licences. Some payment providers themselves can restrict use for certain purposes such as gambling, this is what American Express does, but this is not the case with Bitcoin as it is in effect owned by the very people that use it.
In the UK in order to accept bets online operators must possess a gambling commission licence, you can read more about this in our licencing article. The licence allows you to accept players from the UK and those players can fund their accounts using any legal payment method accepted by the online bookmaker. In this article we are only talking about UK licensed and legal bitcoin betting
sites. Because of the anonymous nature of bitcoin there are a lot of offshore dodgy bitcoin betting sites and casinos, so what we’re offering here are safe legit ones.
As with any other payment method you will be expected to verify that you residing in the country and that you are over 18. When opening an account with a bank card this is often easier as the bookie can cross check your name and address against details held with your bank.
With Bitcoin you will need to send in additional verification documents, but you need to do this with other payment forms such as PayPal too. Read our ID and verification article for more about this.
If you are betting with a UK licenced betting site and you are betting from the UK then there is no restriction on Bitcoin funding whatsoever. In fact, Bitcoin is a great option to use to fund online bookie accounts as it is a truly global currency, its fast, has low fees and is safe and secure. It also lets you keep track of your gambling transactions away from your normal bank account.
As far as I know Bitcoin is legal in all jurisdictions. Some countries severely limit the use of Bitcoin (e.g. Russia) although these countries also tend to restrict all foreign currency use. Bitcoin, like any other currency, can be used for criminal activities and has in fact was mislabelled in its early years as a currency for crime. Bitcoin is in actual fact a great tool in fighting crime, especially cybercrime.
Bitcoin cannot be counterfeited, transactions are irreversible and is secured against loss by the Blockchain. Earnings made in Bitcoin are subject to tax just as with any other payment medium. If using Bitcoin to gamble however this isn’t a concern anyway as you don’t pay tax on winnings in the UK. There are no limits, as yet, in using Bitcoin funding to receive sign up bonuses and free bets.Bitcoin is a very secure method of funding, the nature of the transaction means that the cash is highly encrypted with both recipient and sender certain of each others identity.
We are going to be talking about taxing regulation broadly below.
In some places, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are recognized by tax authorities, meaning you should claim them on your taxes under the appropriate category. But this is a tax after the fact. There are transaction fees built into most Bitcoin exchanges and other buying and selling entities, but they aren’t necessarily a tax. Taxes are defined as a contribution to state or federal revenue. In order to do that, your local state and federal governments would have a hand in the operation, which is not appealing to some Bitcoin users.
Getting Started: 1.Downloading A Wallet!.
The first thing you need to do to get started with bitcoin is download a bitcoin wallet. A bitcoin wallet is like a bank account for storing your bitcoin, minus the bank. There’s a variety of different wallets you can choose from, each with their own benefits. Find out which wallet is the right one for you.
Once you’ve downloaded a wallet, the next thing you’ll want to do is fill it with some bitcoin. Just like there are a variety of different wallets to choose from, there are a variety of different bitcoin exchanges where you can buy and sell bitcoin. Once you’ve bought bitcoin on one of these exchanges, you can send it to your wallet. A quick word of warning: Coinbase, the most popular cryptocurrency exchange, doesn’t like processing transactions to or from gambling sites, so any deposits or withdrawals from your poker site account should be done via your wallet rather than directly through Coinbase. Don’t let that put you off Coinbase, though: it’s still a great place to buy and sell bitcoin. If you want to find out more about Coinbase, cryptocurrency news site CoinCentral has done a comprehensive review of the Coinbase exchange which will hopefully answer all your questions.
About Bitcoin Poker Sites Legality:
This combination of an age-old gambler’s game and a digital-era currency provides the ultimate gambling experience. On the one hand, players are able to enjoy all the usual features of a poker game, especially since the online poker experience has been optimized. On the other, these players will be able to use all the benefits Bitcoin has to offer. For one, using bitcoins as a payment method instead of regular, fiat currencies allows players to retain greater anonymity. Namely, bitcoin poker sites would only require a username and password (sometimes an email address), allowing you to protect all private information. Furthermore, bitcoin poker players are able to focus all their attention on the game, as the actual deposit and withdrawal processes take a
couple of minutes to a few hours at the most.
As for those poker players residing in countries whose governments have imposed a tax on poker winnings, this crypto currency is the best news ever. Since it still isn’t legally regulated by any government, bitcoin poker winnings are not subject to any type of government taxation policy.
Gambling sites generally have a couple of recognizable characteristics which help players distinguish the good ones from the scammers. Still, when it comes to bitcoin poker rooms in particular, there are a few specific criteria that can aid your search for the best sites. In this age of accessible information, you should have no problem finding reports and reviews of players’ past experiences. As it seems, the site’s reputation still plays a remarkable role in their overall rating. Nonetheless, practical elements should also be taken into consideration. As such, the site’s range of game types and tournaments is another decisive criterion.
As previously mentioned, Bitcoin is quite a secure payment method, but you should also pay attention to the site’s security precautions. The best bitcoin poker rooms have readily available ‘provably fair’ options, certification and licensed software. The final two factors which can account for the site’s reliability are the player pool and the bonus selection they can use. In regards to the former, you should try to find bitcoin poker sites with reasonable player traffic that keep them operating at peak times. As for the latter point, nearly every gambling site aims to offer the most attractive bonuses and promotions in order to retain current players and draw new ones. Still, you should stick to those sites whose bonuses have reasonable terms and conditions that can be met.
Written by Mike Granson